Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd.

Bringing virtual reality to medical treatment

Bringing virtual reality to medical treatment

With a futuristic headset wrapped around her head, Dr. Sarah Murthi looks as if she is ready to play a video game.

But the surgeon at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, dressed in pink scrubs, is instead examining the heart of a volunteer patient as she demonstrates one way she hopes virtual reality will soon be used in the operating room.

On the table is Eric Lee, a college student who agreed to be her guinea pig. Murthi slathers gel across his chest then performs an ultrasound. Instead of images of his heart appearing on a nearby computer screen as in regular ultrasounds, they appear to her to float in midair before her eyes. The headset gives her an up-close, multidimensional...